Zakat is an act of worship, and although it is sometimes compared to a tax, it isn’t like taxes imposed by governments. Zakat is a spiritual duty, solely for the sake of Allah.The Arabic word ‘Zakat’ literally means ‘to cleanse’ or ‘purification’ and by fulfilling this religious duty, Muslims ensure that their wealth has been purified for the will of Allah.

Zakat is mentioned alongside Salah in 82 verses of the Qur’an.

Benefits of Zakat

  • Zakat has many spiritual and worldly benefits. Muslims believe that by paying Zakat they are doing Allah’s will and acknowledging that all of their wealth comes from Allah as a loan – they do not own anything themselves.
  • By performing Zakat, Muslims learn to behave with honesty and to place less importance on material possessions. Zakat is about practicing self-discipline and freeing oneself from greed, the love of money, and the love of oneself

Who has to pay for it?

Every Muslim who has reached puberty is of sound mind, and has above the minimum required amount of wealth (Nisab) is required to perform Zakat.

How much do I have to give?

The usual amount donated is 2.5% of a person’s total cumulative wealth in one lunar year. The value of the Nisab in prophetic tradition is 87.48 grams of pure gold or 612.36 grams of silver. The monetary value of the Nisab will vary by current prices, and scholars recommend that Muslims apply the Nisab value of silver instead of gold, to ensure that more people are eligible for Zakat.